The four parts of the wheel indicate the passing of time: birth, youth, adulthood, death. I’ve recently learned that the four corners of the earth in scripture also indicate markers of time, and not simply geographical directions. Within the earth’s yearly journey around the sun are also four equidistant points (or corners) of significance: the equinoxes and solstices, each one marking the change of seasons.
The Bear Clan leader stepped up to the barrier and extended his hand, palm up, to the leader of the white men. If he was indeed the true Pahána, the Hopis knew he would extend his own hand, palm down, and clasp the Bear Clan leader’s hand to form the nakwách, the ancient symbol of brotherhood. It is understood that when they are finally reconciled, each would correct the other’s laws and faults; they would live side by side and share in common all the riches of the land and join their faiths in one religion that would establish the truth of life in a spirit of universal brotherhood.